Speaking in Vilnius on Monday (10 July 2023), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s agreement to forward the accession protocol for Sweden to the Grand National Assembly as soon as possible, and work closely with the Assembly to ensure ratification. The announcement came following a meeting between the Secretary General, President Erdogan, and Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.
“The memorandum concluded a year ago at the Madrid summit has delivered,” said Mr Stoltenberg. “It has delivered more in our fight against terrorism, more security for Türkiye, and a stronger NATO.” He noted that Sweden and Türkiye have worked closely together since NATO’s 2022 Summit in Madrid to address Türkiye’s legitimate security concerns, and that as part of that process, Sweden has amended its constitution, changed its laws, significantly expanded its counter-terrorism cooperation against the PKK, and resumed arms exports to Türkiye. “Sweden’s cooperation with Türkiye in the fight against terrorism will continue beyond accession,” he said, welcoming that Sweden and Türkiye agreed today to establish a new bilateral Security Compact.
“NATO will also significantly step up its work in this area, and I will establish, for the first time at NATO, the post of Special Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism,” said the Secretary General.
“Completing Sweden’s accession to NATO is an historic step that benefits the security of all NATO Allies at this critical time. It makes us all stronger and safer,” said Mr Stoltenberg.